LocationSandton, South Africa
Project TeamFrances Joynt
Structural EngineersHull Consulting Engineers
Landscape ArchitectMeleney’s Gardens
Quantity SurveyorSM Schneid Quantity Surveyors
Author of TextFrances Joynt
Text description provided by the architects. This house has been designed to be highly flexible and adapt to the owners' changing needs. The house has two skins throughout: the sliding glass windows and doors, and the sliding timber shutters, which enable the owners to constantly transform the look and feel of the spaces to suit their activities, the weather and the time.
On the ground floor, all of the doors in the living area can slide away to open out onto the expansive covered patio and garden, while the timber shutters set into the concrete portal on the south of the patio can slide away so that the patio is open to the landscaped motor court to the south, and to the garden and pool to the north. Along the full length of the northern facade on the first floor, folding stacking timber shutters outside the sliding windows provide shading and privacy for the bedrooms and TV room, but can be stacked open for extra sun and views.
The generous internal volumes are accentuated by means of floor to ceiling glass doors and windows, internal pivot doors and cabinetry.
The inclusion of a back of house kitchen, scullery and pantry enables the front kitchen in the open plan living area to remain uncluttered, with all appliances and utensils concealed, so that it reads as part of the tranquil living space rather than as a utility area.
The use of raw, natural materials throughout the house, such as flamed granite floor tiles, wire brushed white oak, exposed off shutter concrete, stone cladding, and natural stone countertops and mosaics, impart a sense warmth, softness and comfort.
The house is cooled by means of passive solar design, thermal mass, insulation, natural ventilation and cross ventilation. In winter, the house is heated with hot water under floor heating, connected to a heat pump (heat exchange). Domestic hot water is provided by means of solar geysers, and the pool is heated with solar mats.